We are moving through the year quite fast I believe as it is already the end of July. And it was a hot one, both temperature and purchases. Now, I do have a handful of vinyl, but as prices skyrocket, I am focusing on the albums that mean something to me or from bands that mean something to me so the purchases have slowed. CDs are cheaper and a lot easier to obtain so I seem to be buying way more of those these days. With minor exceptions, I have been laser focused on what I’m buying. Let’s go through the vinyl first. First up is the new album from Shinedown called ‘Planet Zero’. I have all their albums on vinyl as I am a big fan so why not get the new one…
Then it I picked up a couple holy grail type albums. First was one from Kiss that had only been issued for their very limited exclusive Kissteria box set. I didn’t think I’d every own one. Thanksfully, they re-issued it on vinyl and I snagged a copy. Not their best compilation, but one that was lacking in my vinyl collection so couldn’t be happier…My list of missing vinyl is now smaller.
Today is actually My 5 Year Anniversary of Blogging. And perfect timing for this post because You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review for next month. I love that fact that we aren’t going to celebrate my blog, but instead I want to celebrate you by letting you pick something for me to review. I want to give you the voice. We have been doing this for a while now, so I am glad this month it fell on this day.
It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site. See…simple!
There are a few simple rules I have put in to place in my selections. They are…
One has to be a new release (within the last month)
One has to be one I have never heard before (new releases don’t count for this one)
One has to be from a genre I don’t normally listen to at all or very often
And the last two are choices from my collection that I haven’t reviewed before
What are the 5 albums you ask? Funny you should ask because I have those right here…
New Release – The Fratellis – Half Drunk Under a Full Moon
Never Heard Before – Radiohead – ‘OK Computer’
Not My Normal Genre – Parliament – ‘Mothership Connection’
From My Collection – The Doors – ‘Morrison Hotel’
From My Collection – The Rolling Stones – ‘Sticky Fingers’
Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in May, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.
Yesterday was April Fool’s Day, but that is what today feels like since there isn’t much coming out this week. You do have the return of Demi Lovato and a new Shakey Grave album, but outside of that there isn’t much else. And for me, there really isn’t anything I want to hear so a good chance for me to catch up on all the stuff that came out in March. I would say my choices are highlighted in Blue, but there is only one so it is highlight in Blue. Let me know what you want to hear and what we may have missed because I am sure there are. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.
The Fratellis – Half Drunk Under a Full Moon – (Cooking Vinyl Ltd): The Fratellis are a personal favorite of mine so anytime I can get a new album, I’m thrilled. They are on their 6th Studio so between their studio albums and Jon Fratellis solo albums, they keep me happy. I love their garage rock style mixed with a post-punk feel. They sound vintage and I like it. Bring it on…
Demi Lovato – Dancing With The Devil…The Art of Starting Over – (Island Records / UMG)
The voice of The Fratellis is back with his second solo album, ‘Bright Night Flowers’. If you are looking for that Fratellis fun, upbeat sound, that is not here. What you get is the unique Jon Fratelli sound with a slowed down tempo and a hauntingly beautiful album.
For those melancholy evenings, this is the perfect album. You get 9 songs played in a way that if the lights are down low and you are alone, it is the companion you were looking for. It will take you, wraps its arms around you and wallow in your sadness…in a good way.
Filled with songs themed around love and heartbreak, this album is actually a breath of fresh air in Jon’s songwriting and such a wonderful change of pace from The Fratellis. When a lead singer steps away from his band, this is how it is done.
Magical songs such as “Serenade in Vain”, the piano led “After a While” and the slightly country-tinged “Evangeline”, take you on a musical journey that you never want to leave. I would score the album a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars. The album is endearing and is easily an early favorite in my Top Albums of 2019.
It is time for the Top 20 Songs of 2018. My previous post, if you missed it, was the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018. Go check it out by clicking on the link. These 20 songs are all genres other than rock. Some were popular and chart toppers and others were not. They are my favorites, that touched me in some way so don’t expect any indie bands or anything trendy. If you want that go to one of the cool sites out there, this ain’t it.
#20 – “Space Cowboy” – Kacey Musgrave off the album ‘Golden Hour’: I am not huge into today’s country music, but Kacey is different. She is doing things her way, pushing boundaries and sounds. I love her voice and her songs are always interesting and worth diving into lyrically. This one is no different. It is more pop than country, but still good.
#19 – “Say Hello” – Rhett Walker Band off the ‘Rhett Walker Band E.P.’: Rhett’s a Christian rock band and this song comes off with the power of Church Revival and gets you up out of you chair, hands in the air and give it your all. If you want to get moving, this will do it.
The year is almost over so it is time to look back at what was awesome in music during the year. I have already looked back at the Top Rock Albums of 2018 (click to read). This list will cover all other genres that I listened to over the year including Pop, Country, Christian and whatever other genre you want classify these albums. Rock is my favorite genre and that is why it gets it’s own list, but that doesn’t take away from any of these choices as I think they are great on their own.
Note: These albums were my favorites and not necessarily the most played on the radio (which I hate the radio) or even the biggest sellers. There aren’t the trendy indie bands on everyone else’s top albums list. These are just what I came across during the year and connected with me in some way. So, we might as well get started…
The #1 Album of 2018
Matt Nathanson – Sings His Sad Heart: Man, what can I say about this guy. He is my favorite singer/songwriter out their right now and has been for sometime. Within just a couple listens to this album I felt like I knew all the words and I was singing right along like I had grown up with these songs. And how do you know an album is great, you keep singing it when you aren’t even listening to it. Yes, I was and I am still singing. The songs “Mine”, “Way Way Back”, “Used To Be” “Long Distant Runner” and “Best Drugs” are some of my favorites but there is not a bad song. Perfect!!
The Fratellis released their fifth studio album back in March, titled ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’ and it has been on repeat. This album shows us a band who is comfortable being who they are and shows a confidence in both the band and the music.
The album is full of infectious pop melodies and a sound that is strictly their own. The songs are fun and enjoyable enough to play over and over despite the lyrics not always being so happy-go-lucky. They will make you want to dance or just sit back and enjoy while you are tapping your feet. It is a total feel good album.
My Sunday Song #83 is “Whistle for the Choir” by The Fratellis. The song is off their debut album ‘Costello Music’ which peaked at #2 on the UK charts and gave us a few hits including “Chelsea Dagger”. However, I really liked this song the best. “Whistle for the Choir” was their third single off the albums and it reached #9 giving them their 2nd Top 10 hit in the UK. I don’t see where they did very well in the States which is a shame.
The Fratellis are a Scottish trio with a very retro feel and garage rock sound. This song for me is more of the retro feel as it is a slow ballad using only an acoustic, bass and drum (well it’s a trio – what else are they going to use). The song has a Beatlesque quality to it and even a little Ray Davies vibe. I think for those reasons, the song struck a chord with me. The simple sound and hypnotic beat pulled me in and put me in a trance where I swayed back and forth while listening. It was encapsulating. There is a little guitar solo, but also a nice whistle solo as well.
The song tells the story of a guy, who after a night out on the town, meets a girl that is way out of his league. This doesn’t stop him. He is going to try and get her anyway. The nice thing is it doesn’t tell you if he gets the girl or not.
Finally a Friday with an abundance of new releases. There are so many I am interested in that this could take awhile. I hope to get to them all sooner or later. I think there is a little something for everyone today. The ones that are striking my fancy are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what you are looking forward to getting or if I am missing something added to the comments. Have a great listening weekend.
Myles Kennedy – Year of the Tiger – (Napalm Records): Whether with Alter Bridge, Slash or just by himself, there is no getting by the immense talent that is Myles Kennedy. He can definitely sing, but his guitar playing is just as sensational. Looking forward to the focus being all about him. I have purposely not listened to anything off this album yet so I can enjoy it all at one time.
Judas Priest – Firepower – (Sony Music): Judas Priest is back with a brand new album. Enough said…Mic drop!!!
Thirdstory – Cold Heart – (Verve Label Group): After waiting for two years, we finally get the full length album they have been promising. My daughter and I saw them open for Tori Kelly two years ago and we bot really enjoyed their harmonies and just the power of their voices. Three guys doing amazing things singing together. We are going to see them again in April when they headline a little club here in Charlotte.
Calum Scott – Only Human – (Capitol Records): This former Britain’s Got Talent contestant from 2015 finally gets his debut album. After the release of his cover of “Dancing On My Own”, I was completely blown away by his vocals. Can’t wait to enjoy this one.
Three Days Grace – Outsider – (RCA Records): I have had two heavy and two soft albums and now back to heavy with Three Days Grace. I followed them since their debut in 2003 with the song “I Hate Everything About You”. They have given me consistently good albums and I expect nothing less from this hard rock band out of Canada.
Jimi Hendrix – Both Sides of the Sky – (Experience Hendrix LLC): Jimi Hendrix…worth giving a listen solely for that matter. This is the third and final in a series of unreleased tracks and surprised their have been so many and why did it take so long for them to come out.
The Fratellis – In Your Own Sweet Time – (Cooking Vinyl): (MOVED TO MARCH 16) And there is still one more I want to hear and that is the Fratellis. When I heard their album Costello Music, I adored their sound and the whole vibe. As a result, I have been absorbing all their albums and this one will be no different.
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – Tearing at the Seams – (Bottleneck Music)
The Neighbourhood – The Neighbourhood – (Columbia Records)
Suicidal Tendencies – Get Your Fight On! – (Suicidal Records)